Court starts 2016 in new location

Andrew Robinson
Published on January 4, 2016

When court cases resume in Harbour Grace on Monday, Jan. 4, the provincial court judge will not be sitting where she normally hears cases.

A spokesman with the Department of Justice confirmed last week to The Compass that the temporary move to the Babb Building in Harbour Grace was completed just before Christmas.

"As of right now, this is considered to be a temporary measure but we expect the court to be there until at least March 31, 2016," he told The Compass in an emailed statement.

Previously, the department determined structural integrity issues plaguing the 185-year-old courthouse building would leave it unfit to occupy over the winter.

In the fall of 2014, courtroom proceedings were relocated for two weeks, with $150,000 spent on repairs to provide a temporary fix. It was also admitted at that time further repairs would be needed and require an extended closure of the courthouse, which is the oldest public building in use provincewide.

The Babb Building was for many years the home of the Service Canada office in Harbour Grace. Service Canada staff moved a few years ago next door to the former site of the local liquor store.


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The provincial government has not indicated what's in store for the historic courthouse, which was originally built to replace an earlier courthouse. It included a court, jail and jailer's residence.

The justice department spokesman said "a further update on a more permanent solution" for provincial court matters in Harbour Grace would come this spring.